Modern technology has changed the way we do business. We can easily buy and sell items to anyone in the world may it be retail or wholesale. We can transfer large amounts of equity instantly with our mobile phones outside banking hours. We can also bring our entire workstation with us.
If technology has changed business, has it affected business travel? Collaborative exchange claims that there is a 30% reduction in business travel because of web conferencing technology. A New York Times article claims the same at around 20% reduction cited from several sources.
According to 10bestph, that alone is already a significant impact. But has technology affected the remaining 70-80% of business travels that still needs to be done?
Booking through Airbnb
Airbnb, the largest hospitality provider, is now targeting business travelers. It offers a lot of incentives to organizations to use their service for their board and lodging needs. They have a specific program that organizations can join to qualify for those exclusive incentives.
In another NY Times article featuring the service. Travellers claim that using the Airbnb program is cheaper and more convenient. It increases the choices for any travel manager in terms of both location, price, and amenities. It is very helpful for emergency trips and companies on a tight budget.
Pocket Money on your Phone
International business travelers can prevent fraud, crime, and exorbitant conversion fees by traveling with virtual cash. Paypal, Apply Pay, Google Wallet, Bitcoin, and other modes of payment that are accepted worldwide outside of the traditional cash and debit/credit cards.
Mobile payments are not yet as widespread as it should be, but there will come a time when mobile payment platforms will be a secure way for business travelers to carry money.
Apart from booking lodging and transportation online. Dining options can also be booked online using popular apps. If the business traveler has special dietary needs, such as diabetic, halal, kosher, gluten-free organic vegan, and the like, checking food menus online that cater to their specific needs takes a lot of guesswork out of eating in a foreign place.
Business trips and leisure normally go hand in hand. It would also give any traveler a way to check out local hotspots and culture without needing a tour guide. They can check out and book tickets on specific points of interest suited to their tastes and hobbies.
It is also possible to work remotely. Documents can be hosted on cloud reducing or eliminating the need to carry the proverbial “briefcase”. It has been the staple item of business travelers for decades, but now a laptop can do and access so much more.
Access to office resources using a cloud task/project manager, document management, or similar system can speed up collaboration and reporting.
Business travel like all other aspects of our lives has evolved to adapt exciting new technologies. The trend will continue as AR/VR and Saas Services go mainstream. There might come a time when we can teleport to our destination and back in an instant. But that is in the foreseeable future, for now, those are the mainstream chances in the business travel industry.